New Delhi: Terming the Union cabinet’s move to amend decades-old labour laws “undemocratic unilateralism", Communist Party of India (Marxist) parliamentarian Tapan Sen on Friday wrote to labour minister Narendra Singh Tomar.

Opposing the government’s move to amend three key labour laws—Factories Act 1948, Apprentices Act 1961 and the Labour Laws (exemption from furnishing returns and maintaining registers by certain establishments) Act, 1988, Sen wrote that all central trade unions had demanded prior consultations with them on the matter before finalization of any proposal of amendments of labour laws directly affecting or effecting the workers.

“But, no such consultation has taken place reflecting an undemocratic unilateralism on the part of government in the matter," he wrote in the letter.

Sen, who is also the general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), a Left leaning central labour union, wrote “same unilateralism has also been reflected in the matter of dissolving the industrial tripartite committee in the area of Plantation, Road Transport, sales promotion employees etc without taking any action in reconstituting the same". He also wrote to Tomar opposing the Rajasthan government’s move on changing four labour laws including the Industrial Disputes Act and the Contract Labour Act.

“In this matter also we did draw your attention to such possibility at Rajasthan in the meeting of 24 June 2014 requesting your urgent preventive intervention. Unfortunately despite your assurance for prior consultations with trade unions, unilateral moves are being taken by the government in the matter of amendment of labour laws and we convey our empathetic protest against such unilateralism, which also seriously undermine the basic principle of bipartism as well as tripartism," he said.

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